Yesterday was world AIDS day

I went to DC in 1996 to see the AIDS Quilt on the National Mall where quilts were displayed from the capital to the Washington Monument and more on the sides. It was such a huge display of love and grief and quite overwhelming. Mom and my 2 cousins went with me.

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Rick’s quilt is up by the first tent at the top. I hadn’t found it yet but saw our rainbow as people twirled it into position and if you’ve never watched it being done it’s awe inspiring. People pick it up and hold it over their heads as they turn it to fit in where it goes.

Bill and Hillary Clinton and Al and Tipper Gore came to see it and read a few of the names of people who had died of AIDS. After 8 years of Reagan it was just nice for the government to acknowledge the devastating impact of AIDS on too many families and friends.

My brother told me he wanted for his and I assigned each person a part of it. It was supposed to represent his love of San Francisco and California and it turned out much different from what I had in mind, but it was absolutely perfect the way it did.

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Me and mom

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Mom did Cecile from the Cecile and Beanie show because that was Rick’s favorite toy. Today Rick’s stuffed Cecile resides on my bed. It still talks and says I love you and I’m coming Beanie and other sayings from the show. Just pull the string.

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My aunt made this. Her connection to Rick was something special to see.

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Rick lived in Huntington Beach and went sailing with my cousin who lived in Long Beach and was very close to him and watched over him for us. Underneath is the Little Engine that Could…"I think I can, I think I can" made by cousins in Santa Rosa.

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My Ogden cousin made this because of Rick’s hour glass collection.

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Another Ogden cousin did the Golden Gate Bridge.

I stitched the words from Memory on the sun and since I’d never gotten good at needle point I just kept telling myself that it’s the thought that counts.

We had learned that it would never return to DC because it was too big now and my mom wanted to turn it in to the Utah AIDS foundation so we could see it. But then they decided to do it and since we wouldn’t be able to see it after that we made another one and decided to keep the original. The woman who made it for us took pictures of each piece and made a duplicate quilt which is what went to Washington. She also made me a mini one of the picture with Rick and me. Such a gift.

A video of the event is called, Lest We Forget, and if you can find it it’s worth a watch. The whole collection isn’t displayed anymore because it’s too big now. Parts of the quilt is still being taken to events, but I rarely hear about it anymore and it seems the country has moved on. But for the thousands of people who have lost someone from AIDS it’s very appreciated that not everyone has. As the saying goes, it was the worst of times, it was the best of times. I agree with that.

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Lookout's picture

Sorry for the loss of your brother, but glad your family mourned with you.

The quilt is a wonderful project.

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“Until justice rolls down like water and righteousness like a mighty stream.”

snoopydawg's picture

@Lookout

It was a family project and involved all the cousins that had met in Santa Rosa for a family reunion about 6 months before his death. We hadn’t had one in decades, but my great aunt insisted we would and family came from all over the country for 4 days and a great time was had by all. It just seemed fitting that the same people would create the quilt.

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In a free country civil liberties are not only for certain groups.
So this is how liberty dies . . . with thunderous applause.
The donor class doesn’t want it, and Americans elect the bribed. So suck it up.

wendy davis's picture

may Rick's journey into the unknown be a joyous one.

I had a friend who'd hung himself as his Aids progressed.

What inestimable love your family gave him! I tied but failed to locate the video on youtube.

For Rick (Rique?) from all of Snoop's homies:

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zed2's picture

We must remember how we treated our people. It was horrible.

AIDS was a genocide after the ARVs had been discovered.Because the real cost to manufacture them at that point was pennies, it emerges in the 2013 award winning film linked below. Yusef Hamied, the CEO and humanitarian CEO of the CIPLA company. decided to break the WTO rules (for which he was thrown into prison) and manufacturing life altering AIDS drugs which miraculously brought people back from Deats door, but this was a serious crime. So he was labeled an international criminal. The debate took place on the ip-health mailing list also. The US was trying to stop Hamied. You can read the story played out in the New York Times, keyword CIPLA, and Hamied.

Think about genocides. Its basically when a society decides peoples lives are not valued as worth he cost of saving them. Thats exactly what happens. The second link is to a discussion with Mahusree Mukerjee, the author of Churchill's Secret War, a book that exposes Churchill and his behavior with regard to the Bengal "famine" of the 1940s, a good example of British colonialistic activities.. Colonialism is not dead, it seems to have shape shifted into neoliberalism. .
Watch the second video.. too Its filled with insights..

Ina book I'm reading now this genocidal pattern emerges also, coincidental;y or not the people always die by the millions for the crime of being poor. Churchill insisted on that in 1943.He exported food and refused to send any famine relief to India. He used the ships he had to fed Southern Europe, he took lifesaving food literally out of the mouths of Indians. At least three million, perhaps six or more innocent people died while England exported precious food from India, they took the next years seeds from starving Indians. In retrospect it was a genocide.. Orwell saw this it seemed, and resigned from his job at the BBC and wrote an essay about the situation, but he could do little more..

We did the same thing in he 1990s with ARVs and the WTO. It took Yusef Hamied to expose the genocide for what it was. See Fire in the blood..
Only then in order to clean up their image no doubt, did the Clintons attempt to l;ink their nasmes to the provision of Aids drugs to the HIV positive, after we had already been shown how they cost almost nothing, which embarassed the powerful and exposed their true nature.

Hitler viewed Indians as Hitler viewed Slavs, as slaves. People who exist merely to supply the empire with what it needs, even at the cost of their own lives. Orwell seemed to understand what was happening at the time. At his job at the BBC propaganda department.

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Dawn's Meta's picture

You've often reflected on your brother as we have discussed the current situation. How Fauci hasn't changed since the days of HIV, AZT and potential drugs that could have helped.

Your experience and past inform the present. We should all know more.

I think it's the disgust and sadness over the horrible suffering that reverberates into today and leaves its mark ❣️.

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A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they shall never sit. Allegedly Greek, but more possibly fairly modern quote.

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janis b's picture

This is such a lovely tribute to your brother. It must have been such a comforting and celebratory family experience and beautiful memories.

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janis b's picture

@janis b

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